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If there is one actor that ever rubbed me the wrong way, it's Fred MacMurray. Still can't stand the sight of him. Has it anything to do with the role he played opposite Bogart in the Caine Mutiny? Don't think so. Couldn't stand the sight of him in Double Indemnity either--what a bummer for Stanwick. Never could understand why the studio hired such a schlemiel in the first place. Same goes for Fredric March, who was a banker before he went to Hollywood. Oh, how did he get in? Same goes for Tom Ewell. Powerful, money-loaded agents. That's all. Who the heck wanted to see Ewell opposite Marilyn in the Seven Year Itch? What was the matter with Glenn Ford? He would have been perfect! Might as well have been Fredric March, or Fred MacMurray--anybody by name of "Fred".

March is considered one of the best actors ever......You should change your name back to the original 'Mack the Knife". Much more apropos.

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I don't recall reading that thread and I would love to read it, so hopefully someone will remember it and bring it back up.

Anything Billy Wilder is a favorite for me. Truly brilliant man and filmaker

Amazingly, I agree with you 100%. Up goes Frazier?

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...I do wish we could have seen Wilder's original choice as Sheldtake: Paul Douglas. While FM is pretty much a straight heavy (er I mean villain -- "Down goes Fraziuh!"), I think Douglas would have brought an interesting vulnerability and complexity to the role.

 

Unfortunately Douglas died of a heart attack shortly before filming began. He had just finished shooting a Twilight Zone episode ("The Mighty Casey") where he looked so haggard that Rod Serling threw out all his footage and reshot his scenes with Jack Warden.

 

 

Sorry Doc, but I've said this before around here and which will often bring on "defenses" of him by others, whenever this subject of Paul Douglas as Sheldrake comes up, while I like Douglas in many a role he was in, such as the loud and u nclout husband in LETTER TO THREE WIVES, and his, once again, loud and u nclouth but lovable baseball manager in ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD, and while I realize his "Teddy Bear Factor", as I believe darkblue brought up earlier here is something to consider, I just could never see him playing Sheldrake because I just don't see him as being the "smooth operator" that the Sheldrake character has to be in order to not only have had a series of affairs with the women who work for the company, but also enough of a "smooth operator" in order to rise to the level of being the president of the company. And, in particular, ALSO would have gotten the idea that if the young Shirley MacLaine's Miss Kubelik would have fallen for his big ol' "teddy bear act", then something such as that would have said to me that she had some MAJOR "Daddy Issues" there, and which would have made me less inclined to believe that she would eventually fall for Jack Lemmon's C.C. Baxter.

 

And the reason I bring this up here is while some around here have said they don't think Fred was all that "sexy", well, even GIVEN that whole "teddy bear factor" thing of Paul's, FRED sure was a hell of whole lot better looking AND "sexier" than PAUL ever was, and so I CAN see Miss Kubelik falling for HIM at least.

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Sorry Doc, but I've said this before around here and which will often bring on "defenses" of him by others, whenever this subject of Paul Douglas as Sheldrake comes up, while I like Douglas in many a role he was in, such as the loud and u nclout husband in LETTER TO THREE WIVES, and his, once again, loud and u nclouth but lovable baseball manager in ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD, and while I realize his "Teddy Bear Factor", as I believe darkblue brought up earlier here is something to consider, I just could never see him playing Sheldrake because I just don't see him as being the "smooth operator" that the Sheldrake character has to be in order to not only have had a series of affairs with the women who work for the company, but also enough of a "smooth operator" in order to rise to the level of being the president of the company. And, in particular, ALSO would have gotten the idea that if the young Shirley MacLaine's Miss Kubelik would have fallen for his big ol' "teddy bear act", then something such as that would have said to me that she had some MAJOR "Daddy Issues" there, and which would have made me less inclined to believe that she would eventually fall for Jack Lemmon's C.C. Baxter.

 

And the reason I bring this up here is while some around here have said they don't think Fred was all that "sexy", well, even GIVEN that whole "teddy bear factor" thing of Paul's, FRED sure was a hell of whole lot better looking AND "sexier" than PAUL ever was, and so I CAN see Miss Kubelik falling for HIM at least.

From one THE APARTMENT expert to another---Sheldrake was not President of the company. He was head (probably V.P.) of Personnel. I also think that Douglas would have fit the Sheldrake role as well as MacMurray. Wilder was no slouch in casting either. 

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From one THE APARTMENT expert to another---Sheldrake was not President of the company. He was head (probably V.P.) of Personnel. I also think that Douglas would have fit the Sheldrake role as well as MacMurray. Wilder was no slouch in casting either. 

 

Thanks for the correction regarding Sheldrake's position, DGF.

 

Though sorry, I still say MacMurray made a far better snake of a "V.P. in charge of personnel" than Douglas would have.

 

(...and speaking of Wilder's casting "expertise"...let us not forget here that he DID also cast the VERY miscast Humphrey Bogart in another little movie he made about the daughter of a chauffeur, remember....and another role of which I've ALSO often said Robert Taylor SHOULD have been cast as) 

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(...and speaking of Wilder's casting "expertise"...let us not forget here that he DID also cast the VERY miscast Humphrey Bogart in another little movie he made about the daughter of a chauffeur, remember....and another role of which I've ALSO often said Robert Taylor SHOULD have been cast in) 

 

I think Bogart is very good in Sabrina. Ironically that role is probably the closest this preppie son of a doctor ever came to playing himself, at least as a star.

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I think Bogart is very good in Sabrina. Ironically that role is probably the closest this preppie son of a doctor ever came to playing himself, at least as a star.

There were at least 5 actors that Wilder wanted for SABRINA rather than Bogart, but could not get any of them. Not only was Bogart miscast, but didn't get along with Audrey, Holden, or Wilder,.......and it was STILL a great film. With, e.g., Grant rather than Bogart, it may have been an all-time classic.

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There were at least 5 actors that Wilder wanted for SABRINA rather than Bogart, but could not get any of them. Not only was Bogart miscast, but didn't get along with Audrey, Holden, or Wilder,.......and it was STILL a great film. With, e.g., Grant rather than Bogart, it may have been an all-time classic.

 

As I say, I like Bogart in Sabrina. For me it's a very successful example of what I'll call "off the nose" casting.

 

Wilder wasn't perfect, i.e. Coop in LITA and his biggest frick up, Ray Walston in Kiss Me Stupid. KMS is oh so close to being a masterpiece. Wilder should have waited for Peter Sellers to recover from his heart attack (co-star Cliff Osmond claimed Sellers work in the film was "genius"), as he did later with Matthau on The Fortune Cookie. But Wilder so hated working with Sellers that he replaced him immediately. Unfortunately, he chose the too old, too effete Walston instead of say, Tony Randall or Danny Kaye. Or maybe Tony Curtis, or even Felicia Farr's real life husband, a fellow named Jack Lemmon. Or if you really want to journey into another dimension, I've sometimes wondered what KMS would have been like with... Jerry Lewis...

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There were at least 5 actors that Wilder wanted for SABRINA rather than Bogart, but could not get any of them. Not only was Bogart miscast, but didn't get along with Audrey, Holden, or Wilder,.......and it was STILL a great film. With, e.g., Grant rather than Bogart, it may have been an all-time classic.

 

Sorry, and not that don't think he COULDN'T have pulled it off, but I think Grant playing the distant, very reserved and somewhat aloof Linus character in SABRINA isn't quite right either. Those very qualities of that character are the reason I've always thought the often thought of as a "wooden" actor Robert Taylor would have made for perfect casting. And, Taylor in 1954 would have been the perfect age to play Holden's older brother AND "attractive" enough to have made the idea of Sabina falling for him by the film's ending a believable thought.

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And now, and not that I'm trying to end this particular discussion here, but maybe we should return it back to the subject of good ol' Fred.

 

'Cause I THINK we NOW know what happens when good ol' Fred isn't the focus of the conversation in this baby, now don't we?! Uh-huh, it seems a few folks around here get their freakin' NOSES out of joint!!! LOL

 

And for those now who have felt "insulted" by what I just said here, FIRST, let us remember here that I'm TRYING to refocus this baby BACK to Fred, and secondly that you can NOT legitimately deny the fact that you DO "get your freakin' noses out of joint" whenever this baby strays from the topic of good ol' Fred. And so LIVE with it, and PLEASE do NOT reply to this comment and lets (RE)FOCUS upon good ol' Fred here!

 

(...ever get the impression that I would have made an absolutely TERRIBLE Diplomat?!!!...WAIT, don't answer that...let's talk about FRED!!!) LOL

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From one THE APARTMENT expert to another---Sheldrake was not President of the company. He was head (probably V.P.) of Personnel.

What, you mean Sheldrake didn't know who Captain Bligh was?

 

Opps, sorry, I think I'm getting my threads mixed up.

 

 

 

P.S.: That is strictly an inside joke for those who read the "This Makes Me A Little Sad" thread. For those who didn't, you won't have a clue what I'm talking about. And for those who did read the other thread, they're probably thinking "Enough already!" In that respect, I now give a double apology.

 

Okay, folks, back to Fred . . .

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What, you mean Sheldrake didn't know who Captain Bligh was?

 

Opps, sorry, I think I'm getting my threads mixed up.

 

Well, ya know Tom, there WAS word that as counter-intuitive as it seems, just like Sheldrake, Bligh was quite was ladies man TOO!

 

(...and even though HIS "teddy bear factor" was never on the high side...go figure, EH?!)

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Well, ya know Tom, there WAS word that as counter-intuitive as it seems, just like Sheldrake, Bligh was quite was ladies man TOO!

 

(...and even though HIS "teddy bear factor" was never on the high side...go figure, EH?!)

Bligh was more a cat 'o nine tails kind of guy than Sheldrake. Let's hope he found a (heavily tattooed?) lady who fancied his taste.

 

 

Okay, folks, back to Fred . . .

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Sorry, and not that don't think he COULDN'T have pulled it off, but I think Grant playing the distant, very reserved and somewhat aloof Linus character in SABRINA isn't quite right either. Those very qualities of that character are the reason I've always thought the often thought of as a "wooden" actor Robert Taylor would have made for perfect casting. And, Taylor in 1954 would have been the perfect age to play Holden's older brother AND "attractive" enough to have made the idea of Sabina falling for him by the film's ending a believable thought.

 

I agree with you about Grant.  The role required someone that Sabrina would have ignored,  even when she was much younger (remember Sabrina had known the brothers since she was a child),  because he wasn't close to Holden in the looks department.   Even at his age Grant would of been close to the same league, so to speak,  as Holden (and when Sabrina was younger many gals would say even better looking).    While Taylor would have been a better choice than Grant or Bogie he was still too attactive for the role. 

 

Bogie was just too old but he did a fine job of acting the part that his miscasting doesn't bring down the film.  

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Okay, and now back to Fred...

 

I always thought he was pretty good and pulled off the whole "endearing" thing fairly well in that latter era screwball comedy, A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY, and thinking he fared well as the befuddled and harried newly-minted man of means off of Eleanor Parker in that film. Not a "great" movie by any means nor quite on a par with the more notable screwball comedies made during the '30s, but I've found it enjoyable viewing the times I've caught it on TCM, anyway.

 

(...what's your take on this?)

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Okay, and now back to Fred...

 

I always thought he was pretty good and pulled off the whole "endearing" thing fairly well in that latter era screwball comedy, A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY, and thinking he fared well as the befuddled and harried newly-minted man of means off of Eleanor Parker in that film. Not a "great" movie by any means nor quite on a par with the more notable screwball comedies made during the '30s, but I've found it enjoyable viewing the times I've caught it on TCM, anyway.

 

(...what's your take on this?)

 

Yea,  for a 40s comedy it was fine but it stilled lacked the magic of the 30s comedies (with the last really great one being His Girl Friday).      But it was nice to see Eleanor Parker in a non drama and acting silly.    Fred and her worked well together.

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Yea,  for a 40s comedy it was fine but it stilled lacked the magic of the 30s comedies (with the last really great one being His Girl Friday).      But it was nice to see Eleanor Parker in a non drama and acting silly.    Fred and her worked well together.

 

I think the best part of AMFC is during the drive down the coast from L.A. to La Jolla scenes, and where during being stranded on the beach and inside that abandoned railroad car with the Mexican workers, and who because of the clever use of the language barrier in the movie, act as the catalysts for the sparks that begin to fly between Fred and Eleanor. There really was some sense of "chemistry" between the two actors there, especially.

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A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY doesn't quite measure up in some ways, but it's a nice effort. I think it's unfair to compare it to screwball comedies of the 1930s. And it is erroneous to say screwball comedies ended (or should have ended) with the second world war. Many screwball comedies were made after this MacMurray film. But of course, purists, want to debate that. :)

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A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY doesn't quite measure up in some ways, but it's a nice effort. I think it's unfair to compare it to screwball comedies of the 1930s. And it is erroneous to say screwball comedies ended (or should have ended) with the second world war. Many screwball comedies were made after this MacMurray film. But of course, purists, want to debate that. :)

 

I've read many times that the reason for the decline of the screwball comedy, in popularity particularly, was that after the Second World War much of the movie going public had evolved to a taste for more "realistic" fare, such as Noirs. And so yes TB, you're correct. While the "purist" might rightly wish to debate the idea of the "quality" of latter day screwball comedies in comparison to those made during this genre's heyday, the genre does exist to some extent even to this very day.

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I've read many times that the reason for the decline of the screwball comedy, in popularity particularly, was that after the Second World War much of the movie going public had evolved to a taste for more "realistic" fare, such as Noirs. And so yes TB, you're correct. While the "purist" might rightly wish to debate the idea of the "quality" of latter day screwball comedies in comparison to those made during this genre's heyday, the genre does exist to some extent even to this very day.

It sure does exist to this day. The genre has evolved so it's a bit different but it's still around. I think the purists try to define it by decade too much and that it has to come from the great depression. But there are always going to be people who've gone from riches to rags (and from rags to riches) in any era so this form of storytelling will always remain relevant.

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It sure does exist to this day. The genre has evolved so it's a bit different but it's still around. I think the purists try to define it by decade too much and that it has to come from the great depression. But there are always going to be people who've gone from riches to rags (and from rags to riches) in any era so this form of storytelling will always remain relevant.

 

Agreed...AGAIN!

 

(...hey...we're on a roll here, dude!!!) ;)

 

LOL

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Agreed...AGAIN!

 

(...hey...we're on a roll here, dude!!!) ;)

 

LOL

LOL

 

And we can say this about noir, too. There is such a thing as neo-noir. So why not say there is also a thing called modern day screwball. :)

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It sure does exist to this day. The genre has evolved so it's a bit different but it's still around. I think the purists try to define it by decade too much and that it has to come from the great depression. But there are always going to be people who've gone from riches to rags (and from rags to riches) in any era so this form of storytelling will always remain relevant.

Of course the screwball type of comedy never ended (and no one here implied that it did),   In any discussion of movies one is going to compare films and genres from different eras to each other.  Nothing unfair about it but of course I'm open to hear why you feel it is unfair.

 

Note that my comment was based on the comments of some of the top directors that made the comedies of the 30s.  They know that their best comedies were during the 30s and after the start of the war they mostly moved on to other genres.     e.g.  Hawks and McCarey.    The book Lunatics and Lovers by Ted Sennett covers this topic well and is a good read as well as reference source for what he called 'the golden years of Hollywood Comedy'.

 

Preston Sturges was very successful in the comedy genre during the war but he wasn't a director in the 30s (but he was the writer of some great 30s comedies),  but these 40s comedies were gererally more sophisticated than 30s screwball comedies (but one could also say he was the exception to the rule).

 

To me Wilder made the best comedies after the war but I wouldn't define these as screwball (but clearly they had screwball moments).    But of course there are a lot of gray areas between a screwball comedy and a romantic comedy.  

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Of course the screwball type of comedy never ended (and no one here implied that it did),   In any discussion of movies one is going to compare films and genres from different eras to each other.  Nothing unfair about it but of course I'm open to hear why you feel it is unfair.

 

Note that my comment was based on the comments of some of the top directors that made the comedies of the 30s.  They know that their best comedies were during the 30s and after the start of the war they mostly moved on to other genres.     e.g.  Hawks and McCarey.    The book Lunatics and Lovers by Ted Sennett covers this topic well and is a good read as well as reference source for what he called 'the golden years of Hollywood Comedy'.

 

Preston Sturges was very successful in the comedy genre during the war but he wasn't a director in the 30s (but he was ther writer of some great 30s comedies),  but these 40s comedies were gererally more sophisticated than 30s screwball comedies (but one could also say he was the exception to the rule).

 

To me Wilder made the best comedies after the war but I wouldn't define these as screwball (but clearly they had screwball moments).    But of course there are a lot of gray areas between a screwball comedy and a romantic comedy.  

It's unfair because it is biased. And it is inaccurate. Technically, screwball (like noir) had its roots in the silent era. But of course the ones who want to keep pushing the 30s are not going to acknowledge that. Or else they will redefine it so that technological advances (sound) or economic and political issues (the great depression) are used-- items unique to the 30s-- in order to disqualify the earlier pictures. And we are not even getting into the fact that if screwball reached its peak in the 30s, these people situate it in cinema when we have no reason to doubt it did not occur in literature and radio programs as well, Thus, what we end up with is the same argument that IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT and MY MAN GODREY are classic screwball and everything else does not count.

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